Thanks to four straight wins, the Flyers went into the NHL-mandated holiday break with plenty of good vibes.
They have the NHL's sixth-most points (47) and sit in third place of the Metropolitan Division (21-11-5).
Now the Flyers will look to build on those positives when they open a six-game road trip Saturday with a matchup against the Sharks (10:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).
With some weekly observations, let's take a look at all things Flyers as the break wraps up:
• Monday night's attendance listed on the NHL's official game report was a season-best 19,776 for the Flyers. The atmosphere at the Wells Fargo Center had a playoff feel to it as the Flyers beat the Rangers, 5-1. Fans were loud and engaged from the opening puck drop.
Prior to Monday, just five home games ago, the listed attendance was an eye-opening 15,811 for the Flyers' 6-1 win over the Maple Leafs.
Sure, Monday was the day before Christmas Eve and the Flyers were playing a division rival with some New York fans in the house. But you can sense and see fans starting to buy back in because the on-ice product is building excitement. So many aspects factor into attendance figures — price of tickets, amenities in the arena, the opponent, the day of the week, the time of the year, etc.
Ultimately, though, the players on the ice will dictate fan support. Monday showed why it's improving and how it always steadily does when a team starts to win. The Flyers deserve credit for improving the on-ice product and giving fans a reason to be optimistic and intrigued.
During 2018-19, the Flyers went 19-18-4 in Philly, giving them their fewest home wins over a full season since 2006-07.
At home in 2019-20, the Flyers are 13-2-4, have the NHL's best points percentage (.789), allow the league's fewest goals per game (1.95) and score the second most per game (3.79).
As the season picks up, the Flyers are becoming a fun ticket for a fan base that, understandably, has been frustrated and needs convincing.
• The Flyers have a good problem: lineup decisions on defense.
Considering the injuries they've suffered at forward and what they went through in net last season, the Flyers will be happy to make difficult calls on who to play each night among a competitive crowd of blueliners.
When Philippe Myers sits a game or two as a healthy scratch, it can be a positive. The Flyers haven't had this type of depth on defense in a while.
In 2017-18, Travis Sanheim was in a similar situation as Myers. It did not prove detrimental at all to his development or career.
• The more you see prospect Egor Zamula, the more you tip your cap to Flyers amateur scout Mark Greig.
Zamula, a long, mobile and skilled defenseman, scored two goals in Russia's 4-3 loss to Czech Republic during Day 1 of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Yegor Zamula (#LetsGoFlyers) walks around a defender and fires a seeing-eye shot through traffic, beating Dostal (#LetsGoDucks).— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) December 26, 2019
Russia is back in this one. #WJC2020 #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/WCPou8VguN
🚨 Yegor Zamula - 2nd of the game— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 26, 2019
The 19-year-old went undrafted and Greig is a big reason why he's in the Flyers' prospect pool. Zamula (6-4/170) is a point-per-game player for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen (seven goals, 21 assists in 28 games) and owns a plus-19 rating.
He'll be in the professional picture next season.
• To finish off December, the Flyers play three teams at the bottom of the Western Conference — Sharks, Ducks and Kings.
Then, the Flyers will get a good test in January when nine of their 11 games come against teams currently in a playoff spot.
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